The first 5 decks (above) are brown pressure treated pine and others are cedar. The treated pine is a stronger wood and low maintenance. They also look like cedar and from a distance very hard to tell them apart. Cedar decks, aside from being high maintenance, will turn grey in a year. I have used the treated pine myself at my home 4 years ago and I haven't seen fading. I'm suspecting that a UV block is in the brown treatment that's used. Many like the grey look or don't mind maintaining and staining the cedar. We love doing cedar decks when the opportunity comes up. A new cedar deck smells so nice! We will deliver what is wanted, that's what we are here for.
My name is Rick Ayotte and I have been building decks for 32 years. I routinely go back and look at decks I built that are at least several years old to see if I could learn something from them. I found my decks to be level and sound. I learnt not to change the in-ground footing method because it works best when building decks. I don't want to write any libelous statements here so I'll just deal with *empirical facts.
*empirical; evidence obtained from observation and experience rather than theories.
I went out and inspected decks built by others who used deck blocks. All were off level some more than others. Some long decks were "wavy." Areas of disturbed top soil explained why some deck blocks sank a bit causing the deck to have depressions in some areas. Some decks were so bad that they could serve as a launch platform for a skateboarder. One deck was only a year old, a bad home renovation investment. Think about it for a minute. Would you buy a house that was just placed on the ground? Any unstable area would cause structural damage with drywall cracking etc. Building decks is an investment of thousands of dollars and should not be constructed in a jerry-built fashion. For someone to say that deck blocks are good for permanent decks is uttering a falsehood. He has not done on site inspections (after a few years) of building decks on blocks. Even if
10 people tell you that deck blocks are good for permanent decks does not make it a fact, it only makes 10 falsehoods! A deck is an investment and should be built properly for many, many years of enjoyment with no adverse effects. Who ever builds your deck insist on in-ground footings.
Here we are taking a deck apart, left. It was built by others using deck blocks. OMG! you can see that the deck is much lower on the left side by the patio door. Deck blocks are good for temporary platforms that are used for a few months or a year and then taken apart. A deck at a home should not be considered as a temporary structure. Because a deck is unprotected and exposed to weather it may not have a life span like the house it's attached to but with pressure treated joists and in ground footings it can last 30 years. With deck blocks just the weight of the wood alone can off set the deck then one would need to crawl in the dirt under the deck to jack up and shim it level again. Heavy rain and frost will cause the top surface of the ground to shrink, swell or erode causing movement with the deck blocks and off setting the deck floor year after year.
TIME - For example building decks that need 8 footings takes about 2 hours to do the in-ground footings. With deck blocks one would be at it for hours, preparing the area for the deck blocks, leveling, shimming and then re-leveling after a ton of wood is on the blocks. A contractor who can't confront drilling holes uses deck blocks which is a more complicated method with the subsequent adverse effects past on to the client. A satisfied customer is a valuable asset and he/she deserves to have a well built product.